Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/19/14
With Paul George going down with a horrific season ending leg injury and Derrick Rose finally showing signs of returning to his MVP form after two long years of rehab, can Kobe re-establish his dominance from the December 17th knee injury and regain his team leadership? At 35 years old, Kobe is coming off a season marred by injury after initially returning from a torn Achilles tendon he suffered in the spring of 2013. Kobe resumed playing in early December and, only 6 games into his comeback, he was diagnosed with a lateral tibial fracture in his left knee. This type of sports injury is very uncommon in NBA athletes and is an extremely difficult recovery for a basketball player because of the pressure of quick cutting, high acceleration, and sudden stopping that the NBA demands. Dr. Thomas Higgins, a leading tibial plateau fracture specialist at University Orthopedic Center (University of Utah), stated that a tibial plateau fracture is a high-energy trauma, like you would most likely see in an automobile accident. Kobe elected to go with surgery rather than non-surgical therapy, from which the recovery would be longer. Kobe tried to come back too quickly from the surgery from which Dr. Higgins said often results in arthritis, limited ability to do weight bearing exercises, and can result in re-displacement of the knee. The good news with the injury has been there were no torn ligaments and the extra rehab over the summer should enable a full recovery. The stresses that the body has to handle through 18 seasons in the NBA are difficult enough and the question that Kobe hasn’t answered is whether his knee can hold up to the rigors of 36 minutes per game. We saw the effects of prolonged minutes where he played 7 consecutives games of over 40 minutes per game before tearing his Achilles tendon. We know that few players have the work ethic that Bryant has displayed throughout his career, but he is fighting age and knees that have given him problems for years. (Kobe has received platelet-rich plasma therapy in Germany in past years for his knee and ankle). I think Kobe has taken a much better approach to this recovery and rehab and he is one of the strongest mentally in the game today. The Black Mamba enters his 19th season in the NBA with a pretty simple goal to be healthy enough to get on the court and contribute. As one of the most competitive athletes in the NBA, he has to limit his minutes and get strong support from his teammates on both ends of the court. A key to the Los Angeles Lakers season rests on Kobe’s ability to still be one of the league’s most dominant scorers, to take players off the dribble, and his ability to elevate on his jump shot. On the defensive side, over the last few years Kobe has been the one to cover the opposing team’s best perimeter player and to lead the Lakers’ defensive efforts. Kobe has the will to return as one of the more dominate players in the NBA, but will his body be up to the challenge of an 82 game season? The post Los Angeles Lakers: Why Kobe is the X-factor appeared first on isportsweb.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Peyton Manning sets NFL touchdown passing record

Report: CJ Spiller suffers broken collarbone

DeMarco Murray sets record with another 100-yard game

Report: Things got 'ugly' in Bears' locker room after loss

Redskins bench Kirk Cousins for Colt McCoy

Rams beat Seahawks thanks to gutsy fake punt call

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brian Kelly unloads on officials for pass interference call

Brett Favre: I got calls about playing last season

Joseph Randle partners with underwear company after arrest

Report: Seahawks asked about Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron

Florida fans chant for Will Muschamp to be fired

Gennady Golovkin scores second-round knockout win

10 takeaways from NFL Week 7

Video: Alec Burks breaks Kobe Bryant's ankles

WATCH: Sean Payton has tense exchange with reporter

Darnell Dockett mocks Raiders fans with whiteboard

WATCH: Tony Romo nearly runs over Alex Rodriguez

WATCH: Prince Amukamara pulls Dwayne Harris' hair

What was the meaning behind Doug Baldwin's TD celebration?

Luke Kuechly ejected after questionable call

WATCH: Giovanni Bernard gets leveled by Vontae Davis

WATCH: Rams run awesome trick play for punt return TD

Kyle Orton shaves his epic mustache

Florida State beats Notre Dame 31-27 in thriller

Lakers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

10 takeaways from NFL Week 7

Report: Marshall calls out Jay Cutler

Darnell Dockett mocks Raiders fans

Brian Kelly unloads on officials

WATCH: Rams run punt return trick play for TD

Joseph Randle now an underwear spokesman?

Ex-Trojans RB escorted out after USC game

FSU tops Notre Dame in thriller

Fans chant for Muschamp's head

Popovich zings Suns owner

Golden Tate reacts to Percy Harvin trade

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.